‘Crush the cocaine finely’: Zaragoza sparks row with tips for drug-takers

Authorities in Zaragoza are in hot water after publishing guidelines for drug users that highlight the best ways to consume cocaine, speed and other narcotics.

'Crush the cocaine finely': Zaragoza sparks row with tips for drug-takers
Photo: Dmytro_z/Depositphotos

It contains advice such as: “In order to make a tube (for sniffing) to limit damage to the nostrils it is better to use rolled-up paper or cardboard than a pipe or other hard material.”

And: “Crushing the cocaine finely reduces the risk of bleeding or ulcerations on the inside of the nostrils.”

For marijuana users: ““Depending on the type of effects desired (psychedelic, relaxing, therapeutic) one type or another of cannabis with the appropriate cannabinoid ratio should be sought.”

Zaragoza City Hall, which is run by a coalition allied with radical left Podemos, issued the 31-page document titled “Drugs: the world, the neighbourhood” to tackle drug use in the northeastern city.

It contains chapters on consuming various substances including alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, as well as illegal narcotics such as cocaine and amphetamines.

The pamphlet is designed to limit the risks involved in drug taking and has been backed by Consumo ConCiencia, an organisation that aims to educate drug users on reducing risks and runs a scheme offering lab analysis of a substance before they consume.

“There is no such thing as a world without drugs; but there is the option of being well informed, aware and having the right laws,” explains the introduction to the guide.

The document has sparked fierce debate with opposition council members calling for it to be withdrawn.

Jorge Azcon, the spokesman for the conservative Popular Party (PP) in Zarogoza described it as “a manual for drug taking”.

“Rather than emphasize the dangers of drug taking this booklet highlights how to enjoy drugs,” he said.

“What they are telling people is that when consuming drugs, this is how not to hurt their nose, how to take the correct amount, but what they are not told is how cocaine can destroy their life.”

Javier Sanchez, the founder of Consumo ConCienca insists the pamphlet “in no way promotes drug use” but rather is designed to highlight “the need for good practice to reduce the risks involved in drug taking.”

It’s not the first time such a polemic has swirled over drug education.

Last year in the Basque city of Bilbao, health authorities came under fire for distributing handy credit card sized tips for cocaine users.

They bore messages such as: “Cut your line properly… If it is not properly cut, you could damage your nostrils”.


Spanish police make ‘biggest ever haul of synthetic drugs’

Spanish police said Friday they had seized a record 827,000 ecstasy tablets as well as other narcotics in what they called "the biggest ever seizure of synthetic drugs" in Spain.

Spanish police make 'biggest ever haul of synthetic drugs'
Police claim the seizure is the biggest in Spanish history. Photo: Guardia Civil and the National Police
In a joint operation, the Guardia Civil and the National Police smashed “the main international criminal organisation behind the production and supply of most of the synthetic drugs in Spain”, they said in a joint statement.
Synthetic drugs are manufactured using man-made chemicals rather than natural ingredients.
Eleven people were arrested on charges of drug trafficking and belonging to a criminal organisation, including the organisation's Dutch boss.
As well as the ecstasy tabs, police also seized 76 kilos (167 pounds) of speed, 39.5 kilos of crystal meth and 217 litres of liquid amphetamine with which they could have produced 738.5 kilos of speed.
They also impounded almost 400 kilos of hashish and marijuana which they were to have exported to The Netherlands to pay for the purchase of the necessary substances to manufacture the drugs at two labs in Barcelona.
The organisation included traffickers from Spain, The Netherlands, Romania, Colombia and Italy and had bases in Barcelona, the southern city of Malaga and the island of Ibiza, all of which are known for having a vibrant nightlife and many dance clubs.
Although Spain is considered one of the main drug gateways to Europe, seizures of synthetic narcotics are uncommon as most traffickers usually deal in cannabis and cocaine.